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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Industrial Workers of World meets to raise money for jailed members

From our archives,

100 years ago

More than 1,200 members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, the Wobblies) gathered for a fiery mass meeting at Spokane’s Auditorium Theater.

There, they voted to raise money for their brethren in Everett, jailed after a bloody confrontation earlier in the year. They also received a warning from John T. Doran, the IWW national organizer who had been working in Spokane for weeks. What happened in Everett, he said, could happen in Spokane.

“I was given a warning last night,” Doran said. “Word came to me that the lumber people of this district will not stand for organization, and, believe me, they’ll resort to rough stuff to prevent it.”

Doran was not cowed.

“I’d rather a whole lot be bumped off fighting for something than to be starved to death by the industries of the United States,” he said.

Doran was described as having “broad shoulders and a powerful neck encased in a flannel shirt,” and with “fiery red hair.”

From the war beat: Germany had floated a controversial peace proposal – and the front page of The Spokesman-Review was full of talk about the prospects for peace.

However, this talk would prove to be ephemeral. The approaching year, 1917, would be known for an escalation of the war into a world war – with the U.S. joining in.

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